The United States Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent action to repurpose the 1755–1780 MHz band for commercial mobile broadband paired in auction with the 2155–2180 MHz band is one very important step to meet both consumers’ rising demand for mobile broadband and the challenge of limited spectrum.
4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of wireless technologies, including LTE mobile broadband, today published Meeting the 1000x Challenge: The Need for Spectrum, Technology and Policy Innovation (Condensed Version), to provide a synopsis of a report originally released in October 2013. The report examines the numerous technology enhancements to mobile technology that will dramatically increase network efficiency, yet may not be enough to meet the challenge posed by many more mobile broadband users, devices with larger screens, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity and video applications driving network traffic.
“Challenges continue to emerge for mobile broadband as the wireless data demand landscape dramatically transforms at a staggering rate throughout North, Central and South America,” said Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. “The usage of mobile data will potentially overwhelm wireless network resources due to finite and limited spectrum availability even though technology evolution is improving the efficiency and capacity of the wireless networks. To be able to accommodate the growth, the wireless industry needs additional spectrum and associated policy innovation throughout the Americas region.”
New technology enhancements and innovative spectrum policy approaches are currently being developed as building blocks to address the massive data challenge. The components concisely outlined in the report include:
- Continued enhancements of LTE and LTE-Advanced
- M2M connectivity with new vertical industries
- Efficiencies in technology such as small cells, Heterogeneous Networks (HetNets), carrier aggregation and supplemental downlink
- More capable devices: advanced receivers, Radio Frequency (RF) front-end optimization and intelligent connectivity
- Use of Authorized/Licensed Shared Access (ASA/LSA), an innovative spectrum sharing policy approach in the form of a binary framework
- Implementation of Supplemental Downlink (SDL) to allow small unpaired blocks of spectrum to be utilized through carrier aggregation
“The FCC is making progress in tackling the data challenge, specifically with the recent decisions to repurpose more spectrum for commercial broadband service,” added Pearson. “The need for continued regulatory innovation coupled with technology evolution is crucial in helping to bridge the gap between the explosive growth in data demand and network capacity.”
The report, Meeting the 1000x Challenge: The Need for Spectrum, Technology and Policy Innovation (Condensed Version), was written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas, led by Qualcomm and T-Mobile USA. This white paper is available for free download at: www.4gamericas.org.